Rennata M. Tropeano, Assorted Sketches. charcoal, crayons, 8 x 8inches. ©2009Rennata M. Tropeano, Face Sketch. charcoal, 8 x 8inches. ©2009

I have been doing a lot of work with computer graphics as of late and while that keeps me in practice with composing a scene, it takes a different skill set than basic drawing . I am firm believer in going back to the basics and working on improving your grasp of skills. Working on improving is very different than expecting perfection.  Learning to sketch is really the process of learning to see, and then translating that to the paper.  Many would be artists are very frustrated with their own perceived inability to draw _________.   Tonight an artist whose work I admire, said to me “I can’t draw people”   I bet she can. Maybe not as well as she would like, but I have seen her paintings. I have no doubt what so ever that she can draw people.  I am convinced that anyone who can write their name in both cursive and printing can in fact draw,  All the skills that you need are there. The ability to reproduce a series of positive and negative shapes with curves and lines.  When you think about it, the ability to write is pretty impressive, yet this is something that most people do with out thinking about it.  It is something that we all learned to do through practice and by doing it over and over again. I love how to draw books that tell the reader that you can learn to draw horses, dogs, cartoons, fairies, etc in so many simple steps.  They always seem to leave out the little fact that it takes practice to learn to do each step.  Take a look at a learn to write book.  They are all about practice, and no one expects a child to be able to write after finishing one workbook.  When I start to sketch, I have a set of jewel tone crayons that I like to start with, to warm up, and remind myself that it takes practice, and it should be fun, otherwise why bother?